Keywords: Big Data and Television; Video On Demand; Netflix; Subscriber Profile; Film Deconstruction; House of Cards.
The most dynamic companies in the television market today are those which offer video on demand (VOD) services on the web. The millions of subscribers that interact with VOD service providers every day produce a vast amount of data. This «big data» is processed and analysed to build a profile of each one user. The aim is to give them advice on titles corresponding to their interests, selected from thousands of program in the provider's catalogue. This article analyses how Netflix - the world's leading subscription VOD company, with more than 90 million subscribers in 190 countries - collects and uses big data as a strategic tool. The company's first aim is to better understand its subscribers in order to improve their loyalty and engagement by giving them advice on how they can find items in the catalogue that correspond to their tastes. The second aim is to match data concerning film and TV programs in the Netflix catalogue with the subscriber profile to better help them choose. Data about content is produced by a team of hundreds of specialized staff, and is also used to decide what type of programs to produce, which is demonstrated by the case of House of Cards, one of the biggest success in the history of Netflix production. In the conclusion, critical discussion points are highlighted.